Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University

Publishing with a Scholarly or Academic Journal

This guide will review the steps associated with publishing in a scholarly or academic journal. Audience: Students, Post-Doc, Researcher, and Early Tenure

Commons Steps to Publishing in a Scholarly or Academic Journal



Publishing with a Scholarly or Academic Journal

This guide will review the steps associated with publishing in a scholarly or academic journal. 

Common Steps

  1. Preparation

  2. Finding a journal

  3. Writing the article

  4. Submitting the article

  5. Revising and publishing the article

  6. Promoting the article


Additional Resources


Please note:  links open in new pages. 


Before diving into writing an article, let’s review some steps that you may want to take first:

  1. Obtain your Researcher Identifier(s)

  2. Review funding requirements

  3. Find at least one mentor

  4. Review job ads or publications 

  5. Consider co-authors


Obtain Your Researcher Identifier(s)

Get an ORCID! - Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

Ready to distinguish yourself from other authors with a similar name?  Want to ensure you are getting credit for your scholarly works?  Solve these problems and create an ORCID in less than one minute.  Simply register for an ORCID ID.  You will be asked to enter your first name, last name, and email address.  Then you will create a password, select your email preference, and accept the privacy policy and conditions of ORCID.

What is ORCID? from ORCID on Vimeo.

Gather any other researcher identifiers that may already be attached with your author name (ex. Scopus Author Identifier, International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), ResearcherID).

Review funding requirements

Several funding agencies have publication guidelines or policies.  These should be reviewed now to ensure that you choose a journal that can meet the funding agency's requirements.  A common requirement can be to make the publication open access, which could be accomplished by publishing with an open access journal, publishing with a hybrid journal that has an open access option, or negotiating open access deposit rights with a journal editor or publisher.  Note that there may be additional fees to make your article open access.

Find at least one mentor

  • Mentors can be within your discipline, outside your discipline, or both.
  • Look within your local community, but also consider choices that are not.  Outside perspectives can be just as valuable.
  • Review your institution's promotion and tenure guidelines (if you are tenure track) or consider the positions that you are wanting to obtain.
    • K-State allows tenure and promotion guidelines to be set by the department.  Please review your department’s guidelines, policies, and procedures.

Review job ads or publications

When preparing to write an academic or scholarly article you may want to consider where others have published in your field or what a future employer may expect from your writings.  To do this you may:

  • Review job ads or positions to which you aspire to obtain for publication requirements or expectations.
  • Review publications by an author in your discipline to which you would emulate or hope to collaborate with on articles to locate where they have published previously.
  • Consider frequency of publication required and journal suggestions, if provided.
  • Determine your audience.
  • Consider if your writing is general or specialized in nature. This will help you find the best journal for your submission.

Consider co-authors
Authors often write articles with other authors.  Make a list of potential co-authors, what you know about their previous writings, and how you may approach them to propose co-authorship on an article.


Please note:  links open in new pages. 

Finding a Journal


Before starting to write your article you should think about which journal would be appropriate for your article.  Each journal has different

  • Scopes- inform authors of the topics and research areas that the journal accepts for publication.
    • New authors often miss the scope of a journal, which will result in a rejection even if the article was well written.
  • Guidelines- policies, procedures, additional information on submissions, copyright information, or suggestions for authors.
  • Submission requirements- exact details that you will need to complete for an article you would like to submit.
    • This information will usually include table and graph formatting, style, citation, size, and any other formatting requirements.  Failing to meet submission requirements can result in additional review periods, delay in publication, or possible rejection of the article.  

You should also consider the rights, or lack of rights, that you will retain with your article if you submit to that journal.  Many traditional, commercial journals require authors to sign their copyrights over to the publisher.  Depending on your goals this option may or may not be right for you.


Please avoid publication with predatory journals.  While these may give authors easy publication avenues the journals often do not follow codes of conduct or ethics guidelines.  If a publishing opportunity arises, we recommend asking yourself ‘does this feel weird?’ Signs that may indicate a predatory journal:

  • Constant (usually unsolicited) marketing, advertising, and/or call for submissions

  • Fees for submission only

  • Fees or other publication charges that are not clearly noted on the journal site

  • Exorbitant fees, including submission or “handling” fees paid by the author whether the manuscript is accepted or not

  • No or inadequate peer review

  • A small editorial board, editorial board with no discipline knowledge, or editorial board with members who do not know or want to be on the board

  • A publisher who releases a large suite of new journals all at one time

  • Previous publications of plagiarized content


Please note:  links open in new pages. 

Writing an Article

To keep your article on track create a timeline or outline for the period you will use to research and write your article.  In depth projects resulting in research articles may take 1-3 years, Recipe for Research Publication Success Infographic.  It is important if working with co-authors to communicate clear expectations, timeline for deliveries, and objectives for the article.
Are you new to writing? Check out K-State Libraries' guide on "Writing a Research Paper."


Research Assistance

The K-State community may work with your Academic Services Librarian to locate quality resources for your research.  Make an appointment for research assistance today:

K-State Libraries Research Resources

  • Databases

    • Over 300 databases in multiple disciplines available to K-State.

  • Digital Collections

    • Resources range from books and primary records to photographs and other visual aids.

  • eJournals

    • Listing of thousands of available eJournals accessible to K-State.

  • Government Information

    • Selective depository of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), collecting selected U.S. and Kansas government publications.

  • K-State Research Exchange (K-REx)

    • Showcases a variety of content including digital scholarship created by K-State scholars and K-State libraries digital collections.

  • New Prairie Press (NPP)

    • In addition to scholarly journals, NPP publishes conference proceedings, faculty and staff scholarly monographs, open access textbooks, and other special publications.

  • Search It! Advance Search

    • Search It simultaneously searches K-State Libraries' physical holdings and most of its online collections, including millions of articles and electronic books. 


Reusing Content

When using others' content, it is critical you do so within  U.S. law.  There are four simple questions to go through when looking to reuse content:

  1. Is the work copyright protected against your use?  If yes, proceed with the next question.

  2. Is there a license for this content to permit your use? If no, proceed with the next question.

  3. Is there an exemption in the law that applies to your use? If no, proceed with the next question.

  4. Have you obtained permission for your use?  If no, obtain permission from copyright holder or purchase a license for your use.

Please see, for more information on reusing content.  Copyright consultation available at:


Citation and Bibliographies Resources

Citation and bibliography tools help authors to keep their literature resources organized, tracks works consulted, and can aid in creating your works cited for your article.  

Using Data in your Research

A growing number of funding agencies are requiring publication of your data sets with your articles.  Your data should be properly documented so that it may be useful to anyone reviewing our reusing the data set.  For more information on data management please see


Please note:  links open in new pages. 

Submitting an Article

Right before submitting your article to a journal invite a fellow colleague, perhaps the mentor you chose in the preparation phase, to read and review your article along with the journal's scope, guidelines, and submission requirements.  Ensure that your article meets all the journal's needs and requirements.  Journals can have varied submission procedures. Some journals require that you mail a printed copy into an address, some will request an email with attachment, and others will have online submission forms.


Be aware of click-through copyright agreements and negotiate for your copyrights when needed


You should receive some form of communication from the submissions system or the editor indicating that your article has been received.  If you do not receive confirmation within 24 hours of submission please contact the editor to confirm that your article has been received into processing.  If you are mailing your article into a physical address it would be helpful to obtain delivery confirmation.  Obtain this notice for your records and share with co-authors if applicable.  


After you have confirmation of submission you should take a deep breath and prepare to be asked for a revision.  Note that the  initial review process can take some time depending on the journal for which you are submitting content.



Please note:  links open in new pages. 


Review Process

Please watch this 3 minute intro to peer review video by North Carolina State University


Evaluating Research Articles Top Three Questions Asked By Reviewers:

  1. Methodology – is the study sound and can be replicated?

  2. Errors- does the research presented have errors or miscalculations?

  3. Conclusion- does the research presented match what the author is summarizing?

Types of Reviews

  • Non-Anonymous: Neither the author nor the reviewers are kept unknown from the other party.  Reviewer information is usually not made public.

  • Anonymous: The reviewer knows who authored the paper that they are reviewing, but the author is not made aware of whom is the reviewer.  Reviewer information is usually not made public.

  • Double-Anonymous: The author is not made aware of by whom they are being reviewed.  The reviewer is not made aware of whom the author is until after publication of the content.  Reviewer information is usually not made public.

  • Open:  Both the author and the reviewer are made aware of the other’s information.  The reviewer information along with their review is often made publicly available with the article’s record.

  • Commentary:  Both the author and the reviewer are made aware of the other’s information.  The reviewer information along with their review is made publicly available within the content of the article.  This is usually an ongoing review process with no “end” date.


Turnaround time varies from journal to journal - it may take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months.  We recommend that an author wait a minimum of 90 days before contacting the editor about the status of their article.  When you receive your peer review the journal editors may provide the unedited reviewer comments or may only provide a summary. Note that journal editors may require a letter or statement addressing the reviewers’ comments when a revision is submitted.


Contradicting Reviewers

If the editor provides no guidance, revise the article based on the peer reviews, and include a letter explaining your changes and rationale.


After reading the reviews of your article place them aside and set up a meeting with your mentor.  After 24 hours re-read your reviews before you met with your mentor. Take detailed notes on your reactions to these comments.  Use the time that you meet with your mentor to discuss the reviewers comments, your reactions to these comments, and the direction you will take for revision(s).  Most authors will be required to make minor to major changes to their article before it may be accepted.  If major revisions are required in your first submission journal editors may decide to re-review your article through the same or another set of reviewers.  If this happens you may be asked to make additional changes.  With each set of changes that are requested it would be helpful, if not required, for the author(s) to make adjustments to the article based on these reviews and provide detailed explanation of where changes were made and why changes were not made, if applicable.


Before your article is published it must be accepted by the journal editor.  Based on the revisions required and how the author(s) responded to those changes the editor(s) would decide to accept or reject the article.  Depending on the publisher, after acceptance the authors may need to approve the final version or “proof” of the article before publication.  


If your article was not accepted it would not be published and thus eligible for you to submit to another journal (see the Finding a journal tab).



Please note:  links open in new pages. 

Promoting the Article

Once your article has been published it is time to let people know what you created.  Digital or electronic journals may have share features within the record of your article.  We advise authors to use these links to promote themselves through social media channels. Using the journal's share features will aid in statistics and altmetrics.

If permitted by the journal, green archive a permitted version of the article in an institutional repository or personal website.  K-State faculty and staff may deposit their scholarly works with the K-State Research Exchange. Also, check with your journal to see if they are able to provide any information to use in your promotion (ex. your article download counts).


Please note:  links open in new pages. 


Loading ...